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Insights: National Crime Victims’ Rights Week; Hearings Begin on Critical Bills

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March 29, 2019

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Catholic dioceses in California are offering special prayers and Masses in observation of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 7-13, 2019.  The commemoration is an annual event established in 1981 to draw attention to the people and families whose lives have been affected by violent crime. 

This year’s theme is Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future.

In recognition of those impacted by crime, the Restorative Justice offices of the state’s dioceses offer special events, classes and reflection on the meaning and application of restorative justice in today’s society.  Local parishes, congregations and communities are encouraged to participate actively by hosting events and fostering an environment of healing and restoration in their churches.

Some related activities include interfaith prayer services, candlelight vigils, and Masses and services for the intentions of crime victims and survivors.  In addition, some dioceses are participating in local community-based events to promote awareness of victims’ rights, including related victim marches and conferences.

For more information about events in your area contact your local Diocesan Restorative Justice Director at or visit the CCC website at


Significant Committee Hearings Coming Up at State Capitol

California is now well into the current legislative session and committee hearings are moving at full throttle at the Capitol.

Legislators on fiscal and policy committees will continue to hear bills until later this summer, however, there are two significant bills the CCC is monitoring that have hearings coming up soon.

SB 24 by Senator Connie Leyva (D – Chino), which would mandate that public universities provide abortion pills as their student health centers, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health Committee on April 3. The CCC will be sending out an action alert so you can quickly and conveniently let these senators know this bill violates human sanctity. Senator Richard Pan (D – Sacramento) chairs the committee. A physician, it’s vital that Dr. Pan is reminded of fact the bill is entirely unnecessary, as Governor Jerry Brown cited in his veto message last year.

SB 360 by Senator Jerry Hill (D – San Mateo) is a bill proposing to eliminate the penitential communication exemption when it comes to child sexual abuse. This bill tears away the sanctimony of the seal of confession and is a direct assault on the religious practice and the civic right to the free exercise of religion enshrined in the First Amendment. It is scheduled to be heard April 2 in the Senate Public Safety Committee. Be on the lookout for an alert for this bill as well.

Action Alerts will be sent to those subscribers whose legislators sit on the committees hearing the bills next weeks.  Please be sure to act and send them to your representatives.  It’s vital that the Catholic voice is heard.

Stay tuned to the CCC’s website for latest developments and to track these and other bills as they make their ways through the Legislature.  Watch our Action Alert page for further developments.


2020 Census Outreach Campaign Gearing Up

The California Complete Count – Census 2020 office wants to make sure Californians are heard and are part of the 2020 Census. A complete and accurate count of California’s population is essential. The data collected by the decennial Census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to state and local governments.

That’s why the California Census Office is holding an outreach and engagement effort known as “2020 Census Call to Action – Be Counted, California!” one year before Census Day.

The 2020 Census Call to Action is a week-long effort between April 1-7, 2019 promoting California’s efforts to ensure a complete and accurate count in the state. The California Census Office is asking stakeholders and partners to hold local call to action events, meet with elected representatives and connect with the community between April 1-7. 

The primary and perpetual challenge facing the U.S. Census Bureau is the undercount of certain population groups. That challenge is amplified in California, where more residents are considered traditionally hard to count. Those include foreign-born residents, renters, individuals living in homes without a broadband subscription, people living close to or below the poverty line, and children younger than five years-old.

The U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in April in the court case Department of Commerce v. New York that will decide whether or not to add a question of citizenship to the census ballot. This would likely prevent undocumented individuals from participating resulting in a California undercount and impact on services in the future.

We will keep you advised of developments on this front so that you can make the wisest decision about participating.

Please visit the California Complete Count – Census 2020 website for more information.


New Gaudete Et Exsultate Videos Released

There are two new videos up in the CCC-produced eight-part series examining Gaudete Et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.

The Pope examines the Beatitudes in his Exhortation, and each video dives into the deeper meaning and call to Christ of each. Video five calls us not to perfection but to be merciful. Video six beckons us to a pure heart – one that seeks God and strives to care for our neighbors.

Check the CCC’s YouTube page for the series. The Pope uses the version of the Beatitudes found in the Gospel of Matthew.


New Graphic Novel Chronicles History of LA Archdiocese

Most have heard of the initial launch of the Catholic Church in California by Saint Junípero Serra and the chain of missions he helped found, but a new graphic novel about the early days of the Los Angeles Archdiocese hopes to breathe new life into the early history of the Church in the area.

“Faith in the Southland” came from a collaboration between a French publisher, Éditions du Signe, and a writing team of American sisters, Corinna and Maria Laughlin. The team utilized the graphics to attract attention from a wider variety of readers, like elementary school students, than those solely interested in studying the history of the Archdiocese.

According to Claude Costecalde, publication director at Éditions du Signe, at a time when pop culture icons form children’s aspiration and behaviors, the Church as a wealth of men and women who offer alternative role models to imitate and form their identity.

Read more here.


March 29, 2019
Vol. 12, No. 10

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